Messi Tells Ref Not To Use VAR After Barca Teammates Ask For Penalty

Lionel Messi VARPA

Lionel Messi showed the true spirit of football over the weekend by refusing to let the referee award a penalty in his favour.

Barcelona beat Rayo Vallecano 3-1 in Saturday’s game, but could have had the opportunity to score a further goal when Messi fell to the floor in the box after colliding with a defender.

With his teammates asking for a penalty, the referee went to call for a VAR review to see what happened – but Messi was having none of it.

Lionel Messi BarcelonaGetty

Instead of letting the decision get taken to VAR, the Barcelona captain told the referee – in no uncertain terms – that his fall wasn’t the result of a foul, and play continued.

Now, I’m no football expert; my expertise extends as far as having to watch the occasional match with my United-obsessed boyfriend (help). But even I understand most footballers would usually just let the ref award the penalty.

To be honest, I’d probably do the same. But Messi proved he wasn’t like most people in Saturday’s game, when he told the ref not to use VAR – despite his fellow players asking for a penalty.

People immediately took to social media to praise Messi for his sportsmanship:

While another said Messi ‘will make you fall in love with everything in football’:

Ultimately, Messi’s fall was a result of him losing his balance when a Rayo Vallecano defender managed to position his body in front of his.

Messi could have easily pushed for the penalty – just as his fellow teammates did – but his decision to be honest with the ref showcased his sportsmanship and earned him respect from the fans.

After the incident, Messi then went on to supply an assist and Barcelona took a 3-1 lead in a win which took them seven points clear at the top of the league.

This isn’t the first time Messi has impressed fans, as the footballer showed off his skills by nutmegging a reporter last year:

In an advert for Adidas, called ‘Here to Create’, Messi can be seen at what appears to be football training. After kicking the ball into the air, he glances over to a reporter on the other side of the pitch before kicking the ball again.

This time, the ball arcs towards the reporter (who’s 50 yards away), lands and bounces towards the unsuspecting reporter and then continues directly through the man’s legs.

So not only does the man have incredible football skills, but he’s also fair and honest to go with it. Kudos to him.

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